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Start the Naturalization Process

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Step 1

Find out if you are eligible

The basic requirements are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years (or three years, if married to a United States citizen) and be physically present in the U.S. for at least half that time.
  • You must be a person of “good moral character.”
  • You must be able to read, write and speak basic English, and have knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of U.S. history and government.
  • You must have been a resident of the state where you plan to apply for citizenship for at least three months.
  • You must take a loyalty oath to the United States and support the Constitution and form of government of the United States.

There are exceptions of these general requirements that may apply to you. For example, spouses of U.S. citizens stationed abroad and members of the military who served honorably may not be required to meet some of these requirements.

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Get assistance

It may be challenging to figure out if you are eligible. There are multiple tools that can help:

English/Spanish (NALEO Educational Fund): 888-839-8682

Chinese (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California): 800-520-2356

Korean (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California): 800-867-3640

Tagalog (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California): 855-300-2552

Thai (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California): 800-914-9583

Find out if you are eligible with Citizenshipworks, a free, safe, and simple online tool that guides you through the application.

Review resources from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to learn more about becoming a citizen, and access study and application materials.

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Step 2

Fill out your application

To apply for citizenship, you must complete a legal form called Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The Form N-400 is a long and complex form, so it is important to carefully read the instructions and gather all of the required documentation. You can access the N-400 for free by visiting the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

The application asks for personal information about you, your parents, your spouse, and your children. You must share information about any arrests, where you worked and lived, and where/when you traveled outside of the United States over the last 5 years.

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Get assistance

You can get help filling out your application in person, online, or over the phone.

Find out if you are eligible with Citizenshipworks, a free, safe, and simple online tool that guides you through the application.

English/Spanish (NALEO Educational Fund): 888-839-8682

Chinese (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California): 800-520-2356

Korean (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California): 800-867-3640

Tagalog (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California): 855-300-2552

Thai (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California): 800-914-9583

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Step 3

Submit your application and payment online or by mail

Once you or your legal representative complete the naturalization application, it’s time to submit it with your payment. You can mail in your application and fees or you can submit online. If you file online, you must create a USCIS online account. If you complete the form on paper, please check carefully where to mail the application.

The application fee is $725 if you file before March 31, 2024. If you apply on or after April 1, 2024, the application fee is $710 for those who file online or $760 for those who file on paper by mail. You may be eligible for a reduced fee or complete fee waiver based on your income.

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Get assistance

You might be able to pay a reduced fee or no fee at all.

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Step 4

Complete your interview and test

Once you submit your application, there are a few more things you need to do:

You will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment (if applicable). At this appointment, you will have your fingerprints and your photograph taken.

You must prepare for and complete your naturalization interview and English and civics tests (unless an exemption applies to you). The interview is conducted by an immigration officer at a USCIS office and you will be asked about your eligibility for citizenship and your knowledge of U.S. history and government.

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Get assistance

We assembled resources to help you prepare for your interview and the English and civics tests.

Find English and civics study materials and other helpful information to prepare for your naturalization interview and test.

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Step 5

Take the oath!

After your interview, USCIS will make a determination about your case. If your application is approved, you will be scheduled to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.

The Oath of Allegiance is a formal ceremony in which you pledge your allegiance to the United States. After you take the Oath of Allegiance, you will be a U.S. citizen.

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Get assistance

Congratulations!

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